“Shall we receive good at the hand of God, And shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10)
Thanks to adversity from my enemies, I received the priceless gift of a desire to see truth. I realized that without truth, I was vulnerable and stumbling around in darkness, not even knowing who my real enemies were.
When I became frustrated, Grandma would say, “Remember, it all comes out in the wash.”
What comes out in the wash??
Grandma was full of those little sayings. Sometimes they drove me batty.
At other times they actually proved to be helpful by taking my mind off of my frustrations and motivated me to focus on unraveling the meaning of Grandma’s riddles. However years later, through encounters with my own enemies, I finally discovered the true meaning in the clues she had given me.
So, in time, I began to see just how deceptive enemies can be. Proverbs says that enemies have the ability to “speak fair” while having “seven abominations in their heart.” Grandma was telling me that it isn’t always possible to discern the “good guys” from the “bad guys.” The “bad guys” can look pretty darn good sometimes-even downright “religious.”
Thanks to my enemies, God began blessing me with discernment and patience. Enemies are like dirty laundry that may not appear to be very dark or dingy. Sometimes they may not seem bad at all. But in the end, we are usually surprised to see just how dirty the water becomes when the washing process is completed and it’s finally being poured down the drain.
We must learn to watch and wait until the dirt shows itself. Grandma would smile; stir the dark soapy water, and say, “Just look now, how dirty those clothes were.”
After I became a Christian, the Word of God provided the answers I was looking for. But like my grandmother’s sayings, it sometimes took attacks from my enemies before I could hear the Holy Spirit explaining it all and making it real to me through life’s experiences.
Enemies, like angels, became my saving messengers. Like the angel that wrestled with Jacob, my adversaries caused me to become a different person in order to accomplish the purposes of God.
I felt trapped and overwhelmed by the relentless attacks, until my enemy chased me into the saving arms of God and gave me an unquenchable desire to hear his voice. For that I will forever be grateful.
I assumed that from this point on, things would get better. But first everything had to get much worse. The enemy was unleashed against me for the next 23 years. During that time, God had the opportunity to teach me and bless me in many more amazing ways.
My enemy did things to endanger my life. But God showed me that I was being protected. When the enemy screamed at me and criticized me, God tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Be still and know that I am God.”
A few minutes later, my enemy fell down the basement stairs and the load of wood he was carrying hit him in the face. As blood was running from his mouth, he said, “I feel like someone just hit me in the mouth.”
I knew, without a doubt, that SOMEONE had just hit him in the mouth. Other enemies were not as fortunate. I learned to pray for mercy upon my enemies, especially those who were family members. While I wanted them to realize the benefits of doing what is right, I knew that it would just hurt me more to see them hurt.
When my enemy brought filth into my house, God taught me the importance of separating the clean from the unclean.
When my enemy convinced friends, family, and the church that I was evil, God showed me the importance of being blameless and gave me the confidence to stand on His Word.
My enemy secretly betrayed me, but God revealed it and I saw the benefits of listening to His Voice. This became very unsettling to my enemy because he began to think that I could read his mind.
As my enemies plotted and lied to me, God showed me that I should not listen to what they were saying, but instead, watch what they were actually doing, because their actions would tell what was really going on in their heart. “The simple believe every word.” (Proverbs)
My enemies kept me captive with lies and false doctrine until my cup was filled with blessings, then the truth of God’s Word and Law, finally vindicated me and set me free.
My enemy said that my reaction to the oppression and harassment I was under was a sign of “mental illness” and that I needed to be medicated and hospitalized.
I was never medicated or hospitalized, but studied and learned valuable lessons about mental illness from a Christian perspective.
Eventually I was able to help others with this knowledge, while my enemy became increasingly more mentally ill himself and eventually had to be placed in an institution.
It was interesting that approximately five people who told others that I was mentally ill either died in accidents and/or became hospitalized for mental illness themselves.
Over the years my enemy stole my: food, water, shelter, clothing, warmth in the winter, refreshment in the summer, any compensation I received for the work of my hands, companionship, counsel, days, nights, weeks, months, years, health, reputation, and financial future and left me alone and penniless.
However, God sustained me in every way and has now required that my enemy continue to pay me back until the day he dies.
Yes, I am very grateful to God for my enemies. They have taught me many valuable lessons about myself and others, while revealing the true nature of God.
So, if the Creator of the universe chooses to use my enemies to bless me, who am I to complain about His methods?
So shall we receive good at the hand of God and not receive evil?
“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him…” (Job 13:15)